Upselling and cross selling are quite the buzzwords in the world of retail, whether it be over the Internet or in actual store locations. These are the strategies used to maximize profit while ensuring that customers make the most of their purchase through complementary offerings.

These selling techniques, however, are not exclusive to retail or business-to-consumer enterprises. They are also applicable to companies that handle business-to-business transactions, such as SEO agencies.  Thing is, most people still have a hard time figuring out what upselling and cross-selling are exactly.

Business to Business Techniques

Simply put, the two are selling methods that induce customers to buy more items on top of their intended purchase. The concept involves introducing customers to more options that were not under consideration earlier on. More often than not, some marketers and salespeople confuse upselling with cross-selling or the other way around.

Understanding the Differences Between Upselling and Cross-Selling

Upselling is a technique to persuade customers to upgrade to a better variety of the product they intend to buy. For a clearer example, think of it as offering a customer to go for a hamburger with bacon and cheese instead of the plain burger they intended to get. To bring it a little closer to home, it means persuading clients to sign up for a Gold white label SEO package instead of Silver.

Cross-selling, on the other hand, is about selling a different item to the customer on top of their purchase. Using the fast food analogy, it may mean pitching a side of fries and a large drink after they ordered a hamburger. In the context of selling SEO services, it may mean offering social media packages to a client who only wanted SEO services.

How to Sell with Success

Upselling and cross-selling may be two different techniques, but they follow the same sales principles. The first thing you need to do is avoid blatantly marketing the complementary packages. Clients may find your aggressive and insistent selling annoying—and this may translate into a lost sale.

Make your recommendations grounded and reasonable. Justify why your client needs to get this on top of that. For example, explain that having a website is not enough to drive customer engagement; this is where you introduce the need for social media. Take this as an opportunity to segue into your social media packages. To make your recommendations sound convincing, you must first find out what your client’s specific needs are. You may even present what other clients have bought.

Always keep the choices limited. A range of offerings that is too extensive may overwhelm clients; they may even get confused or consider backing out due to indecision. If you feel like presenting another line of services is quite taxing, you may choose to combine some of your top-selling products or services and offer them as one package. For instance, you can offer social media solutions and reputation management to clients looking to improve their branding online.

Selling is not just selling. It involves a number of strategies, which are developed based on the needs and wants of the customer. Upselling and cross-selling are only some of the few techniques that will up your sales game. Check our blog section regularly for more tips about online marketing.

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Itamar has been on the net since the days it was still in black and white. Born and raised in Israel and now living in the Philippines, founder of SEOReseller.com and recently launched Siteoscope.com.